Browsing: Political Manipulation

‘Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has endorsed a controversial agreement with Saudi Arabia on the transfer of the sovereignty of two Red Sea islands to the kingdom.

A cabinet statement issued on Saturday announced Sisi’s ratification of the 2016 maritime border demarcation agreement with Saudi Arabia, which gives the kingdom control over Tiran and Sanafir, two islands located at the southern tip of the Gulf of Aqaba.

The Egyptian parliament had earlier approved the pact amid high controversy and opposition from senior lawmakers. Several courts had also annulled the agreement.

Sisi, a former army general who had reportedly served for a while as Egypt’s military attaché in Saudi Arabia, has faced growing public pressure over his decision to sign the agreement last year as many call it tantamount to treason.’

Read more: Egypt’s Sisi ratifies controversial islands deal with Saudis

‘China and the United States have agreed efforts to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula should be ‘complete, verifiable and irreversible,’ Chinese state media said on Saturday.

‘Both sides reaffirm that they will strive for the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,’ a consensus document released by the official Xinhua news agency said, reporting the results of high level talks in Washington this week.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had said on Thursday that the United States pressed China to ramp up economic and political pressure on North Korea, during his meeting with top Chinese diplomats and defense chiefs.’

Read more: US and China agree to denuclearize North Korea and say efforts to rid Kim of nuclear weapons should be ‘complete, verifiable and irreversible’

‘South Korean President Moon Jae-in has invited North Korea, his country’s archenemy, to the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, saying sports can serve as a peace maker and the invitation is thus aimed at easing incessant tensions between the two neighbors over Pyongyang’s missile and nuclear programs.

President Moon made the remarks at the opening of the 23rd edition of the World Taekwondo Championships in the southern county of Muju on Saturday, adding that he believed in the strength of sports, which had been “brokering peace.”

“If a North Korean delegation takes part in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, I believe it will greatly contribute to realizing the Olympic values, which are about bringing humanity together and promoting world peace,” he further said, according to a script of his comments released by the presidential Blue House.

Moon also took a step further and suggested that the two neighbors should pool their athletes to create joint teams for the games in order to achieve better performance.’

Read more: South Korea invites North to participate in 2018 Winter Olympics to boost peace

‘Israel is closing the bank accounts of Arab institutions in Jerusalem in an effort to displace Jerusalemites and force them out of the city, the Department of Jerusalem Affairs has said.

In a press release, the organisation said the Israeli occupation’s moves against social, cultural, educational, relief, housing, legal or engineering institutions were political and go hand in hand with the Israeli policy of collective punishment against the defenseless Palestinian civilians in order to Judaise the city by force.

Organisations had been told verbally seven months ago that their accounts could be closed however no paperwork was issued to confirm the action, the Director of the Yabous Cultural Centre, Rania Elias, told Quds Press.

“The bank specified an amount of money for us to deposit in the account and of course we did that. The bank was to be informed in the case that any sum was added to clarify the source of the funds. And this is what we have actually done,” Elias explained.’

Read more: Closing bank accounts: Israel’s new policy to displace Jerusalemites

 

‘The promotion of Conservative MP Alistair Burt to Minister for the Middle East within Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) demonstrates that the UK’s friendship with the Saudi-aligned Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states will remain toxic.

Between May 2010 and October 2013, Burt was only an Under-Secretary of State at the FCO, with responsibility for “Counter Terrorism, Counter Proliferation, Counter Piracy, North America, Middle East and North Africa, the Maldives and Sri Lanka.” As of earlier this month, he is now a full minister of state, responsible solely for the Middle East; he also holds a second ministerial position at the Department for International Development.

As Under-Secretary, Burt had a long record of protecting the Bahrain-Britain intimate relationship. It was not just, as one activist put it, the usual “meaningless FCO shtick” in which he repeatedly claimed that progress was being made on reforms even when it patently wasn’t. It was a serious of smears, lies and fabrications which went above and beyond the call of duty. There is no reason to believe that his time as a full minister will be any different; in his time out of government office he engaged deeply with GCC lobbyists.’

Read more: Who does Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt really work for?

‘The Government is hiding a devastating report that shows rehabilitation courses taken by thousands of jailed rapists and paedophiles make them more dangerous once they are released.

According to the study, prisoners who take the courses are at least 25 per cent more likely to be convicted of further sex crimes than those who do not, suggesting that the sessions may have created hundreds of extra victims.

The controversial Sex Offender Treatment Programme (SOTP), a six-month psychological group-therapy course, is believed to have cost taxpayers well over £100 million since it was set up in 1991.

Before the report was compiled, about 1,000 prisoners had been taking the ‘core’ programme at a cost of about £7 million a year, many at eight sex offender treatment ‘hubs’ – specialist jails where thousands of such criminals are concentrated.

The worst offenders went on to an ‘extended’ course, which was also found to make them more dangerous.’

Read more: The scandal of the sex crime ‘cure’ hubs: How minister buried report into £100million prison programme to treat paedophiles and rapists that INCREASED reoffending rates 

‘MPs from all parties are already planning an alliance to defeat Theresa May’s plans for a hard Brexit, just days into the new Parliament.

Strategies to amend future legislation – including a key immigration bill – to force ministers to listen to business groups and to show the EU that Parliament wants a “softer” exit are being drawn up, The Independent has learned.

One Conservative MP said the aim was to give confidence to “bullied” ministers who are reluctant to “speak out”, despite sharing the view that the Prime Minister’s plans put Britain on the road to disaster.’

Read more: Hard Brexit under threat as MPs from all parties plan alliance to defeat Theresa May’s plans

‘The Conservative Party operated a secret call center to canvas for candidates during the 2017 general election, breaking both data protection and election rules, according to an undercover investigation by Channel 4 News.

During the course of their investigation, an undercover reporter secured work at Blue Telecoms, a firm in Neath, South Wales.

In an area plagued by unemployment and low wages, the call center hired up to one hundred people on zero-hour contracts.

The investigation found the party used a market research firm to make thousands of cold calls to voters in marginal seats in the weeks before the election.

Callers were told to say they worked for a market research company called “Axe Research.” No such company is registered in England or Wales.

Call center employees working on behalf of the party used a script that appeared to canvass for support, rather than conduct neutral market research.’

Read more: Did Tories break election law by canvassing voters from secret call center?

‘Britain could lose sovereignty over a Mauritian island used as a defence base after EU countries refused to support the UK in a UN vote over the dispute.

The General Assembly voted Tuesday to seek an opinion from the top UN court on Mauritius’ claim that Britain illegally maintains sovereignty over the Chagos Islands, including Diego Garcia, where the United States has a major military base in the Indian Ocean.

Only Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary and Lithuania contested the measure in support of Britain, as the vote was approved by a winning margin of 94-15 with 65 abstentions.

The loss for Britain came as it begins negotiations to leave the European Union, and there was a lack of support for the UK from the 27 other EU members.

Cyprus voted in favor of the court referral and 22 EU nations including Germany, France and Italy abstained.’

Read more: Britain could lose sovereignty over Mauritian island used as a defence base after EU countries refused to support the UK in a UN vote over the dispute 

‘Israel has reacted with fury to a rally by hundreds of pro-Palestinian demonstrators in the German capital of Berlin on the occasion of the International Quds Day.

The Friday march drew some 600 pro-Palestinian activists, who were heeding a call by the late founder of the Islamic Republic, Imam Khomeini, to march for Palestine on the last Friday of every Ramadan.

Back in 1979, Imam Khomeini declared the last Friday of the holy fasting month of Ramadan as the International Quds Day, demanding Muslims worldwide to demonstrate on the occasion to remind the world of the plight of the Palestinians under Israeli occupation and aggression.

The occasion was honored by millions of pro-Palestinian and Muslim activists worldwide.’

Read more: Israel irate at Germany over hosting Quds march

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